So, when living frugally, on one income or two, it's always a challenge when you don't know where to start. Prior to 2006, I was working at Walmart night shift stocking shelves. My husband is schitzophrenic and unable to work. He does however manage well at home keeping a low stress level. Our children are able to adapt, but times were tough back then.
I was working part time night shift and going to nursing school. I earned my LPN certificate. I had HUGE bills, behind on all my credit cards, massive overdrafts, and was so far in debt that I was not sure how to get things in order.
Prior to my employment in the hospital, I would make a list of everything we have to eat, clean with, and manage our home. I would use less amounts of dish soap, laundry soap, shampoo, and bar soap. We would use everything in the pantry, and use up what was in the fridge before I had to go to the store.
We did not have cable then. We did get the mortgage paid, electric and water paid. We did not have a phone at home. We were on my husband's family's cell package. We did not have health insurance then, and getting my husband's medications were always a challenge. His family paid for all his pysch meds.
We did go to marriage counseling, and family therapy. I do believe that is what held our marriage and family together.
Fast forward to 2006. I was working in the local hospital as an LPN. I got our bills managed, but still remained in debt (mostly husband's credit cards). We had lots of hospital and medical bills. I worked a lot of overtime, and took a lot of call. We were able to get a good portion of our bills paid off. My car broke down repeatedly. We did buy a new KIA in 2006.
I went to work during the weekends, and evenings and decided to go to RN school in 2008. I went on a local pell grant to obtain my associates degree. In 2012 I earned m bachelors degree in nursing. I moved up the ladder, earning more money with my various educational degrees, but obtained some student loans.
Here I am now, 2013 with some debt. Not a lot, but enough to remain on the frugal path. I shop twice a month, buy from local discount stores, have cable (love it!!!!!), a paid off car. We have health insurance, steady employment, a savings account, and meals every night.
It takes time to get your finances in order. It's not something that can be fixed over night. When it does get in order, you will feel so much better and feel that life is getting into the positive.